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Mythmaking is a motif in People of the Book, because the book takes on a mythic meaning after it survives and is remade over the centuries.
The plot of the novel centers on an old book. The book has become a myth of its own by virtue of having survived as long as it has. Decade after decade, people have protected and restored the book. It was seen as a symbol of hope and harmony in a war-torn country.
The Sarajevo Haggadah, created in medieval Spain, was a famous rarity, a lavishly illuminated Hebrew manuscript made at a time when Jewish belief was firmly against illustrations of any kind. (Ch 1, p. 8)
Since the book is so beautiful and so rare, and has such a rich history of being taken care of, it develops a myth of its own. It is said to have almost magic powers at some points in history, because no matter what the danger the book remains alive, and people will defend it with their lives because it is a piece of history.
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